LOWELL, Mich. – One man’s idea to give away an extra Christmas tree on Craigslist.com buds into a Pay-It-Forward campaign that captures the true meaning of giving this holiday season.
It’s the response that Chad Rose from Lowell got from his post that led to him attempting to give families in need a big something to make the holiday brighter.
Rose said he never intended to have 40 fresh cut pine trees piled up on a trailer outside his Lowell home. In fact, he thought he would have a hard time getting rid of a single extra tree he used in a Christmas parade in Ada.
“I posted it on Craig’s list, free tree and if you do respond please be someone who needs one, not someone who can go out and buy one,” he said. “I had an overwhelming response.”
He received 35 to 40 emails, stories from people in West Michigan who would be going without a Christmas tree this year.
“One (email) was a family of eight, with six kids, and said that they basically draw a big poster of a Christmas tree for the past couple of years and stick it in the corner and that’s been their Christmas tree,” said Rose.
He got another email from a mom trying to explain to her daughter why they wouldn’t have a tree this year. He said that one touched him as well.
“In actuality she was having just as much trouble with it, is what she said in her email, so that was one that put a lump in your throat and made you think this person definitely needs to have a Christmas tree,” he said.
Rose said he decided to accommodate as many as he could. He bought 40 trees to give away hoping to set an example.
“The spirit of Christmas is giving,” he said. “I’ve got two young kids, two boys that are about to turn six and eight and I want them to know what Christmas is not about what I can get, but the joy I am hoping they will get when we give these trees out.”
Rose said it’s just a simple gesture and he hopes his actions will inspire others to do something this holiday season.